First Name

Valerie Fortney

Last Name





Valerie Fortney-Schneider returned to her roots in the southern Italy region of Basilicata where she is a freelance writer, professional genealogist and cappuccino addict. She selflessly samples local delicacies and tours hidden havens for the sake of writing. When not tapping away at her keyboard, she can be found sipping vino, participating in grape harvests, or shooting with breeze with her fellow paesani.

Valerie earned a degree in history from the University of New Mexico, and as a freelance writer combines her love of history with her extensive experience in the tourism industry to provide insightful, informative articles about life in Italy. (She has worked in the hospitality sector, and has past experience as a travel agent, as a corporate travel consultant, and travel agency marketing manager.)

She loves good food, especially regional cuisines, and the regional vintages that go with them.

*Winner – 2020 Excellence in Journalism Award
Author: 52 Things to See and Do in Basilicata





Tell us about your Destination

Living in southern Italy for more than a decade has given me the chance to travel, observe, and interact -to dig deep and find the intriguing places, foods, and artisan crafts in out-of-the-way spots. There is so much more to Italy than the “holy trinity” of Rome, Florence and Venice!

Primary focus of my work

Food, Travel, Wine

How My Work Is Published

Books – as Author, Writer – Printed media (magazine), Writer – Freelance on assignment, Writer – Digital media (website), Website(s) – my own

Member Type

Regular Membership